This content is from: Research

The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Building & Construction, No. 1: Arnaud Lehmann & team

Rising from second place, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch trio directed by Arnaud Lehmann impresses buy-side admirers with the depth and breadth of its reporting.

Arnaud Lehmann & team
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch
First-Place Appearances: 1

Total Appearances: 28

Team Debut: 1990

Rising from second place, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch trio directed by Arnaud Lehmann impresses buy-side admirers with the depth and breadth of its reporting, which helps the team secure the firm’s first No. 1 finish on this list. Lehmann and his colleagues monitor 25 European building and construction companies from their base in London and “cover the space like no one else,” affirms one fund manager in London. In particular, backers point to the crew’s increasingly negative stance on Cie. de Saint-Gobain. The analysts downgraded the French glass and insulation producer from buy to neutral in December 2013, at €36.49, and to underperform nearly three months later, at €42.90. They advised in March that the stock’s valuation was too high given a projected slowdown in the company’s profit recovery as well as a soft French real estate market and overoptimistic expectations regarding economic output throughout Europe. By the end of January, the share price had dropped to €37.93, losing 11.6 percent percent at a time when the sector inched up 0.8 percent. Saint-Gobain remains “least favored,” says Lehmann, 37, and earns a price objective of €30. At the other end of the spectrum is building materials supplier CRH, which the researchers expect to outperform. They raised their rating on Ireland’s largest industrial company from neutral in September, crediting in part its exposure to a rebounding U.S. market. CRH’s stock has indeed led the pack, as of the end of last month, rising 7.7 percent, to 1,603p, and pacing its regional peers by 3.9 percentage points. Lehmann signed on with BofA Merrill in June 2012, moving from Credit Suisse, whose team he co-led to appearances on this roster from 2009 through 2012. Previously, he worked as an equity research analyst for Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux and Dexia Securities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from France’s Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers and a master’s degree in finance from that country’s Université de Rennes I.


Related Content